Rutgers’ New Nursery Specialist Wins Grant Award From Horticultural Research Institute

Raul Cabrera

Raul Cabrera

The New England Nursery Association (NENA), in cooperation with the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), announced that Associate Extension Specialist in Nursery Production and Management Raul Cabrera is the first recipient of the association’s Industry Growth Fund grant award. After a review of 60+ grant applications, NENA selected Cabrera’s research project, “Use of Alternative Irrigation Water Sources for Urban Landscapes and Nursery Crops,” as its top recommendation for funding. Read more from New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association.

Sustainable Farming on the Urban Fringe: A Winter’s Tale of Two Fields

Two fields on opposite sides of one road.

Two fields on opposite sides of the same road.

Jack Rabin (CC ’78), NJAES director of farm programs, shares “Farm Calls” on the Sustainable Farming on the Urban Fringe blog. A picture is worth a thousand words in this post on cover crops.

This fall, a leading Jersey vegetable grower asked, “What’s with all the recent media hype about cover crops? I’m getting ads, USDA NRCS promotions and trade magazine articles about something we already know all about.”

He’s not alone in holding this opinion; ag agents have come to similar conclusions. “We know about cover crops. Farmers know about cover crops. Cover crops have been researched, demonstrated, and their costs and benefits established for over a century. There’s nothing innovative for growers and nothing new to teach.”

The thing is, many growers haven’t adopted cover crops. For example, take the fields I came across while driving down to a recent meeting. Who can resist checking out other farmers’ fields while traveling, whether it’s your neighbor down the road or fields far from home? On this detour, there were hundreds of acres seeded with a cover crop mix of cereal rye and oilseed radish (aka tillage radish). But, something caught my eye so I stopped to take a look. [Read more…]

Alumni Story: Arthur R. Brown, Jr. (GSNB-Horticulture ’77) – Always Jersey Fresh

New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown

New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown

Paging through the many personal photo albums that Art Brown’s staff and friends have compiled for him over the years, one is struck by his cheerful exuberance in the images. Clearly, Art Brown is a person who enjoyed his career as New Jersey’s longtime Secretary of Agriculture. And New Jersey enjoyed his valuable contributions during his decades-long tenure.

The leading architect of the popular “Jersey Fresh” marketing campaign that broke new ground by focusing on locally grown produce and became a model for such programs nationally, Art was tireless in promoting New Jersey agriculture in its various forms. He is shown tasting a spoonful of honey at a fair, eating Jersey corn or a leg of Jersey-bred turkey, posing with a prize-winning rabbit, sampling fresh oysters, picking pumpkins, sitting astride a cutting horse, making the rounds at the county fairs, shaking hands at the Horse Park of New Jersey, promoting Jersey Fresh products for school lunches, and on and on. [Read more…]

Christmas Day 2014 Marks 50th Anniversary of Rutgers Professor’s Groundbreaking Innovation in Ag

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend their growing seasons. Locally, the flowers we buy in full bloom, the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting and local vegetables grown in plastic covered greenhouses to extend the early or late seasons, can be produced locally and economically.

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend the growing season. In the US, the flowers we buy in full bloom and the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting can be produced locally and economically in these greenhouses.

It was Christmas morning of 1964 when Bill Roberts was tinkering in his basement when he was supposed to be doing something else. The now retired Rutgers NJAES specialist in agricultural engineering was building a model greenhouse in his basement when he used an aquarium air pump to separate the two layers of the plastic film covering. As innocuous as it may seem, what Roberts did was actually an innovation that would be a boon to the agricultural industry and revolutionize the use of greenhouses worldwide. Back from winter break, the work commenced on campus in 1965 with a structure on Cook campus that served as the first ever air-inflated, double-layer polyethylene greenhouse. That original structure still stands on campus and in 2004, the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE), dedicated the structure as an ASABE Historic Landmark. Read the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s anniversary tribute and more about this historic innovation that was developed at Rutgers.

Stop, Slow, & Go: Hormonal Signals from Mother’s Milk

Hormones are like a group email or a Facebook message with many recipients. Just as a Facebook status may be received by only certain ("friended") people, hormone messages are only received by tissues that have the right receptors. In this way, specialized glands secrete a hormone to convey the body’s "status," and the "friended" tissues – those with the receptor – are updated..Professors Frank "Skip" Bartol at Auburn University, and Carole Bagnell at Rutgers have been tackling hormones in mother’s milk and the consequences in piglets for over a decade. They and their team have found an exquisite synchrony between hormones in mother’s milk and hormonal receptors in piglets that together affect piglet development, particularly in their reproductive tract.

Read the entire article at milkgenomics.org »